Interview

Interview: Ice Prince Is On a New Sonic Journey

The Nigerian rap star lets us into his world, taking us back to his debut hit song "Oleku," the inspiration behind his new single "Kolo," and he reveals some info about his upcoming studio album, Fire and Ice.

When Ice Prince's first album arrived in 2011, it was replete with a blend of chilled, exciting hip-hop and colorful, bouncy pop tunes. His persona oozed newness. A young chap whose clothing style and intonation matched the kind of music he was making. The rap was distinctive, a mix of punchy flows and sharp lyricism with particular emphasis on storytelling. He alongside Wizkid and Olamide had injected dynamism and freshness into the scene and they were all armed with popular debut hit songs.

For Ice Prince, it was "Oleku," one he regards as an anomaly. "First of all I don't like to refer to Oleku as a hit," Ice Prince boldly blurts out about his debut, although he admits "it's a classic, timeless song." It's been a decade since "Oleku" rang around in clubs, serenaded end-of-the-year school parties and turned into a tune which enjoyed heavy rotation on radio. It's what comes to mind when the name Ice Prince pops up anywhere. The song is like a trademark to him but now in 2021, Ice Prince is so much more than that.

Rising from the northern Nigerian city of Jos to emerge as a symbol of Nigerian music, one that led to a meeting with Jay Z and ultimately winning a BET award in 2013, Ice Prince's past is well stocked with feats and achievements.

The energy he arrived with in 2011 hasn't simmered down any bit. The same mindset from his debut album still remains but now it's infected with some new life philosophies, garnered from both the good and ugly moments of life. His cool attitude persists, cuddled with his fiery energy from his ferocious rap style.

Now signed to 300 Entertainment, the same label of American hip-hop stars Young Thug and Megan Thee Stallion, Ice Prince feels no pressure. He has his eyes set on what's coming, buoyed by his feats and experiences in time past. His fourth studio album is almost done, he tells me via phone call on a hot Thursday afternoon.

This conversation has been edited and condensed for context and clarity.

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